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October 3, 2011

Cupcake Craze: It's Not Just for Kids Anymore!

By: Brandon Nichols

If you have spent anytime walking the mean streets of DC, you have, most likely, noticed a cupcake place…or a few. Hello Cupcake. Georgetown Cupcake. Red Velvet Cupcakery. Sprinkles. The list goes on and on. It is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Everyone seems to have chosen a side in this battle for cupcake glory. However, some are left wondering: what is the preoccupation with cupcakes?

Since we were young, cake has been a cornerstone of our upbringing. For any celebration, there was most likely a delicious cake involved. Wedding. Birthdays. You name it, there was cake. Now, a cupcake allows us to experience this same rush of sugary, joy in an easy-to-handle travel size – assuming your cupcake makes it out the door of the store (mine usually does not). Everyone wants experience childhood every day once in a while. Count me amongst them!

Below you will find a heart-breakingly delicious recipe for red velvet cupcakes. Make them and see if you can keep them around for more than a few hours ;-)

Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (1 ounce) bottle McCormick® Red Food Color
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract 
  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 (16 ounce) box confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.
  4. Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.

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